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Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention Summit November 9th at the Southwest Arts Center

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City of South Fulton Events Calendar
The City of South Fulton is hosting an Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention Event on November 9th at 4PM at the Southwest Arts Center

According to the Georgia Council on Aging, an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation every year. Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, 23.5 cases go unreported. As our population continues to age, awareness about this challenge is increasing. Crimes and scams against seniors are on the rise. The City of South Fulton is hosting an Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention meeting on Wednesday, November 9th, at 4pm at the South Fulton Arts Center. I reached out to Joe Gavalis with the North Georgia Elder Abuse Task Force Foundation to share with us the challenges faced by the senior community.

I ask Gavalis about elder abuse in our community. He speaks about Financial abuse, where 50% of the perpetrators are family members or caregivers. Institutional abuse occurs in nursing homes or other facilities. Gavalis shares a few tips to prevent elder abuse.

  1. Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the phone number. 
  2. Any deal where you have to pay to “win” is a scam
  3. Do not let strangers into your home
  4. Never pay for anything with gift cards or cash

Gavalis speaks about emotional abuse, which can manifest as bullying or pressuring a senior to do something they don’t want to do. Threatening to harm another person or pet can lead to anxiety and depression in a senior. He also speaks about “romantic scams.” Professional thieves scammed Nine people out of millions of dollars in a romantic scam.

I ask Gavalis to tell us about the upcoming event from the City of South Fulton. He says seniors, caregivers, and relatives should all come for a great meeting. There will be a panel of experts that will provide information. Those in attendance will be able to interact and ask questions. He explains that between January and June of 2022, over 5000 elder abuse incidents were reported in Georgia.

For more information on the North Georgia Elder Abuse Task Force.